RWA Urges Senate to Take Swift Action to Fund $1 Billion for Rural Carriers’ Replacement of Huawei/ZTE Equipment

RWA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 (HR.4998), which authorizes up to $1 billion in funding for rural carriers to replace their Huawei and ZTE equipment and urges the Senate to swiftly pass their companion bill, the 5G Leadership Act (S. 1625), which only authorizes up to $700 million in funding for rural carriers’ replacement of banned equipment, so that the differences between the bills can be quickly resolved in a conference committee.  It is critical that the legislation is passed and that a sufficient amount of funding is appropriated, at least $1 billion.  Without this critical funding and a swift resolution, rural carriers cannot have certainty to make decisions to replace and then remove the equipment.  Already, an FCC Order has been adopted to block universal service funding that rural carriers rely on to operate their networks.  The FCC Report and Order, Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will take effect as early as February 2020.  At that time, impacted rural carriers will lose their USF support and be hard-pressed to effectuate a replacement of their banned equipment.  The valiant effort made by Congress and the FCC to protect the telecommunications infrastructure of the United States will be tainted if rural carriers are required to cease operations without sufficient funding to replace such equipment; leaving many Americans in danger of losing crucial service.

2020-01-06T08:53:27-04:00 December 17th, 2019|Categories: Advocacy, Press Releases|
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